Why normative realists ought to be robust naturalists




Morton, James Justin

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Some philosophers think that facts about how we should think or act—the normative facts, as I will call them—do not depend wholly on the various attitudes or feelings we have about things. Call these philosophers realists. In my dissertation, I argue that the only viable form of realism is one on which normative facts are causally efficacious and fully depend on non-normative facts. Call this form of realism robust naturalism. Most arguments for robust naturalism assume a broader doctrine of metaphysical naturalism—roughly, the view that there are no non-natural or supernatural facts. My own arguments for robust naturalism do not assume this. I argue, first, that only robust naturalists can give a satisfactory reply to certain worries about the evolutionary influence on our normative beliefs; and second, that only robust naturalists can give a plausible account of how normative facts are grounded



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